Digital Coloring Book Game

A large-scale theme park wanted to create an interactive and engaging exhibit for children. One of their interactive games featured a dynamic black and white coloring book that visitors could paint with magic digital paint brushes (provided by a third party).

Sensing Places were engaged for our team’s technical know-how to bring their dynamic coloring books to life through gamification. Our engineering team developed the core rendering and animation software, the networking glue code to communicate with the digital brushes, show control simulation and integration of the media assets and animations.

Case Study

The digital coloring book game for the large-scale theme park client was designed to provide visitors with a fun and interactive way to get creative with color. The timed game involved visitors using magic paintbrushes and digital color to bring a black and white canvas to life.

Our software was responsible for real-time paint processing and rendering within the character’s outline, auto-fill, animation triggering, audio playback, interfacing with show controls, relaying brush positions into the game (from a third party brush data interpretation system), changing colors on the buckets, and storing/forwarding the finished canvas for other web services to access.

Sensing Places developed custom software using a commercial rendering engine to create the interactive installation according to the client’s creative specifications. We placed dedicated effort to create a workflow that would allow for fast real-time rendering of the game assets while ensuring animators could continue to work with their preferred toolset. Early in the development process, we interfaced with the client’s maintenance department to understand their requirements and constraints. We also made sure the final software provided minimized post-installation maintenance costs.

We allowed third party animations to integrate with foreground and background animations and animation triggers, while ensuring that paint strokes fell within all individual drawings.

Our team accommodated all timing adjustments from the client’s creative team and iterated all project parameters until the client was fully satisfied with the final game play.

Some challenges we faced included real-time paint application from multiple simultaneous inputs and simulating various brush textures. To solve this we developed dedicated brush shaders within commercial rendering software to achieve the desired results. Our team also came up with the idea of a textured brush stroke, which we implemented with various options the client could select from.We also developed a complex “accounting system” to keep track of colored areas for the entire scene to ensure that the paint would always cleanly fit within the boundaries of an object, as requested in the specs.

To create long-term reliability, we developed thorough unit tests for every piece of the system. To stress test the software we simulated very fast brush strokes, numerous simultaneous brush strokes, network failures, and many other potential edge cases. The game also interfaced with many external systems: a sound controller, a magic brush controller, and a maintenance system, all provided by third parties. Each software component was modularized and unit tested to ensure long-term reliability when integrated with the whole. As a result we were successfully able to build a game that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

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